Zoom is acquiring startup Keybase to help it build end-to-end encryption as part of its 90-day plan to fix security flaws
Zoomis acquiring Keybase, a secure messaging and file sharing service, to help it build end-to-end encryption for its video conferencing service.
- Keybase cofounder Max Krohn will now lead Zoom's security engineering team and report directly to Zoom CEO
- This is part of Zoom's 90-day plan to shore up its privacy and security, which came in response to a cavalcade of privacy and security issues amid its huge surge in usage due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- In a blog post, CEO Eric Yuan said the company plans to offer an end-to-end encrypted meeting mode to all paid participants. The company also plans to publish its publish encryption designs on May 22, and ask for feedback from other experts.
- The company had previously landed in hot water over misleading marketing claims of end-to-end encryption.
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Zoom is acquiring Keybase, a secure messaging and file sharing service, as the video communications company tries to improve the privacy and security of its platform.
Keybase cofounder Max Krohn will now lead Zoom's security engineering team and report directly to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Keybase's last valuation was $42.6 million after raising a $10.8 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz in 2015, according to Pitchbook. Keybase has 25 employees, according to CNBC.
The acquisition is part of Zoom's 90-day plan to shore up its privacy and security announced in early April, after the company faced a cavalcade of privacy and security issues amid its huge surge in usage due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Keybase engineers will join Zoom's security engineering unit. They will proactively identify, address, and enhance the security and privacy capabilities of its platform, Zoom said in a press release. Additionally, leaders from Zoom and Keybase will work together to figure out what the future looks like for Keybase's product.
"Our goal is to provide the most privacy possible for every use case, while also balancing the needs of our users and our commitment to preventing harmful behavior on our platform. Keybase's experienced team will be a critical part of this mission," Yuan said in a blog post.
Zoom has made it a goal to build end-to-end encryption into its video conferencing product after coming under fire in April for falsely marketing their calls as already having that layer of security. On April 22, the company released a new version of the app with a higher level of encryption.
In the blog post, Yuan said the company plans to offer an end-to-end encrypted meeting mode to all paid participants. The company also plans to publish its encryption designs on May 22, and ask for feedback from other experts.
"We will then host discussion sections with civil society, cryptographic experts, and customers to share more details and solicit feedback. Once we have assessed this feedback for integration into a final design, we will announce our engineering milestones and goals for deploying to Zoom users," Yuan wrote.
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